Last evening a crowd of one hundred or so gathered on museum mile in front of the Guggenheim Museum to mark the completion of its three-year renovation project with a champagne reception and a ceremony officiated by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Arriving fashionably late, Bloomberg addressed the crowd with his typical charisma, candidly remarking that the new restoration is “one of the best facelifts on 5th Avenue.” Bloomberg also stated that despite the tough financial times we have recently come upon, the City will continue investing in art and cultural institutions, like the Guggenheim. At the conclusion of Bloomberg’s speech, the official ribbon cutting ceremony revealed a large sign draped over the front exterior of the building that read, “Good As New.” Marc Steglitz, the Guggenheim Museum’s Interim Director-Elect, later commented that the building is actually “better than new,” but said that he was told that he could not say that in fear of the lurking preservationists in the crowd!
During an unrelated call earlier today, Craig Dykers, head of Snohetta’s New York office and the man behind the 9/11 memorial pavilion, divulged that he was rather disappointed with the renderings that the city released last week to widespread fanfare. It’s bad enough that the design has been scaled back–like everything else on the site–but Dykers said that officials also went behind the firm’s back to have the renderings done. He was then kind enough to send along some model shots he greatly prefers. Check ‘em out after the jump.
The Storefront for Architecture and Control Group have announced the winners of an international competition to rethink the White House. The competition attracted some 450 entries who responded with plenty of You-Tube ready concepts, from top prize winner, Revenge of The Lawn, to an honorable mention for a White House Paradise (above). With project descriptions about “prose poems of the modern architectural folk tale” and suggestions to recast the manse in mood tattoos, the debt to Superstudio is very clear. But we can’t wonder if the whole thing had already been upstaged by the prospect of the big house done up in Sarah Palin’s bordello decor.
Always one to take our own advice, AN headed out for a stroll along Sixth Avenue at lunch today to check out a few of the PARK(ing) spaces that had been set up there by enterprising designers.
The first stop was the Yahoo! Purple Bike Park, granted not designed by anyone we know, but it was the closest to the 14th Street 2/3 Station–part of the reason AN is such a fan of PARK(ing) Day is because AN never drives. Because there were no big plots of grass around (more on that later), we failed to find the Yahoo! park on first pass. On to Cook + Fox.
The fine folks over at the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation announced yesterday that the design team for Governor’s Island has officially begun work on its tripartite master plan for the former Coast Guard outpost off the tip of Manhattan. As with most large-scale government projects, the agency is seeking public comment to inform the designs, but this time out they’ve gone the extra step of doing online outreach.
By the time we realized there were no water taxis headed uptown and took the A train, instead, the Museum of Arts and Design’s opening day press conference was almost over and only a few diehard journo’s (Christopher Hawthorne, Robert Campbell) were still lurking around to talk to museum architect Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture (above in the catbird seat) about winning the four-year fight to turn a playboy’s private collection housed in crimson and burled panelling into a high-tech cabinet of craft curiosities. Asked what he thought about the space now that it’s chock-ablock with the kind of severe white (though some are black) Fort-Knox-style display cases favored by the downtown design store Moss, the architect said, “They have to learn how to play the instrument.”
There’s been a lot of questions about how the so-called credit crisis might impact the architecture and design industries. We’ve been tracking this for months, but so far no one has exactly admitted to apocalypse. Until now.
At a Vanity Fair party on Monday–the day the Dow dropped 504 points–man about town Richard Meier had some dour words for the Observer:
Over the weekend the bloggers of AN boarded the worlds most elegant form of public transportation-the venetian water taxi and headed to Marco Polo airport for the 11:35am Delta flight back to New York City and our offices on Murray Street. We are back to spritzless days, the New York subway rather than vaporettos, beautiful fall days in New York and the typically intense –and wonderful world of New York architecture. A press conference today on Lincoln Center’s design changes and tomorrow the new Brad Cloepfil designed MAD museum on Columbus Circle, Yale’s new art school on Friday and next week the opening of The Storefront for Art and Architectures’ restored facade. Now that we are up and running we will be blogging about all these events and more on the new AN blog! But where can we get a decent spritz in this city?
Thanks to Kristen Richards and ARCHNEWSNOW, she is able to let us know over here at A/N that yes all the hard work, cat fights, long hours, egos might have paid off for the US Pavilion crew. As the reviews come in we will keep them coming. We promise not to put lipstick on a pig about the truth and will post yay’s and nay’s.
The American pavilion – with the best exhibition it has hosted in years, from which celebrity architects are notably absent – showcases 16 projects from all over the country that illustrate how this absence of the state has fostered a roll-up-your-sleeves, do-it-yourself culture, which is proving fruitful and productive in local architecture.
Visions of architecture, practical and inspired, International Herald Tribune
Nude hippies, big blobs, stunning dog pounds – is the 2008 architecture biennale too wacky for its own good?
…The second part of the biennale, held in the national pavilions dotted through the city’s giardini a few minutes’ walk from the Arsenale, begins to offer some real, adult answers to the question of how we can make warm and lovable buildings for people of all classes, creeds and incomes. The US pavilion takes the theme the most seriously, with displays of radical designs for $20,000 homes executed in some of America’s poorest states by such commendable US practices as the Rural Studio. These designs come as a welcome reality check. Read More